Agri Commodities

Onion Farmers In Maharashtra Bearing Losses As Prices Drop To All Time Low

Located in Asia, India is an agrarian economy. Almost 60% of the country’s population is involved in agriculture and allied activities and with that, the sector contributes around 18 percent to the country’s GDP.

Not just for the country, the agriculture sector also holds significance in the lives of farmers of the nation. Their earnings and livelihood are primarily dependent on what they produce. They work tirelessly from sowing seeds to watering them, protecting the crops from insects, and after toiling day and night for months, they finally harvest their produce. However, the journey does not end here.

Further, they carry their produce to domestic and international markets and it is only after the product is sold and money is received, their months of hard work finally bear results.

Imagine the pain that a farmer endures all through the process in anticipation of results and imagine how would it feel if, after months of taking care of their crops, they don’t get better prices for their produce in the markets. 

This is what has happened with the onion farmers of Maharashtra this time around. Located in the Western and Central parts of India, Maharashtra is one of the major onion-producing states of India, and a dip in the prices of Onions has made the onion exporters and farmers of the state sad and dejected.

Onion Prices In Maharashtra

Maharashtra is one of the leading onion-producing states in India and the current prices of the staple is far lower than what farmers have spent in order to grow the crops, let alone earn profit margins.

Presently, onions in the state are selling at an all-time low of Rs 9 – Rs 11 per kilogram which is far lower than what farmers have incurred in the production process. The onion farmers of Maharashtra are demanding the average price to be raised to at least Rs 20 – Rs 22 per kilogram so that they are able to cover the expenses that they have incurred while growing the produce.

State President Of The Onion Growers’ Association’s Statements

Mr. Bharat Dighole, Hon’ble state president of the Onion Growers’ Association echoed similar opinions. While addressing the press, he said that the rates have remained lowest for at least the past five years and that the government should frame a policy to increase exports and enable farmers to earn better rates on their produce. 

While expressing his disappointment, he said that the government is not allowing onion farmers to sell their products to global buyers which is hindering them from availing of better rates. 

The Bottom Line

Low prices of onions in the markets of Maharashtra have made things difficult for the growers of the staple from the state. Currently, the price is hovering at Rs 9 – Rs 11 per kilogram in Maharashtra, which is far below what the farmers have spent growing the produce.

While erratic rainfall from June-October last year already damaged 30% of the onion crops, the increased cost of seeds, fertilizers, insecticides, and pesticides have doubled the cost of production, and lower prices in the markets are adding to their losses. 

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